PCOM-SD’s acupuncture clinics for the homeless were recently featured in an article by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Check out an excerpt below or read the full article!
Free clinics commonly offer homeless and low-income people medical and dental services, but some San Diego clinics also offer acupuncture administered from students studying the alternative therapy.
“Acupuncture may not come immediately to mind when thinking of essential services for homeless people, but David Knoles was glad the treatment was there when he needed it.
‘I saw the line and thought, why not?’ Knoles, 58, said Wednesday night at the Pacific Beach United Methodist Church. ‘I was desperate. My back was so sore. After the first session, I could actually walk out of here.’
Knoles has been homeless for eight years and lives in a canyon, and a little more than a year ago he threw his back out while moving a rock he estimated weighed about 150 pounds.
He had been going to the church for meals on Wednesdays, and had heard about an acupuncture clinic in a back room. A skeptic at first, Knoles was quickly sold on the practice.
‘I liked it so much, I kept coming in,’ he said. ‘I wanted to keep doing it. It was not just healing my back, but other pains I was having.’
The acupuncture is performed weekly at rotating clinics by supervised students from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – San Diego, with lines and a waiting list at each clinic. While housing, job training, mental health, and substance-abuse treatment top the list of steps beneficial to homeless people, a supervisor in the acupuncture program said there also is a place for the alternative medical practice. The practice can treat addictions and stress-related conditions such as insomnia, depression and digestive problems.”